As Delta variant spreads, Dr Noor Hisham reminds Malaysians to stay vigilant

KUALA LUMPUR: Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged Malaysians to take the necessary precautionary measures in light of the fast-spreading Delta variant across the nation.

He said everyone should remain at home, restrict their movement and avoid from gatherings.null

“Comply with all the standard operating procedures, including wearing a mask, avoid confined poor ventilated spaces and crowded places.

“Also, please get vaccinated. We rely on public health measures with strong compliance and discipline plus internal protection with vaccination,” he said in a Facebook post today.

His call was made ahead of the much-anticipated announcement on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated people.null

On Thursday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would announce new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) soon for those who have completed their two-dose Covid-19 vaccination.

Muhyiddin said the new SOP would involve the easing of more areas in the economic and social sectors.

Experts, however, said the government must hold back plans to relax restrictions on fully vaccinated individuals and shut down industries for at least two weeks to rein in the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

They believed that while loosening restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated was the next logical step, that move should not be adopted just yet, given a large number of active cases.

In the same post, Dr Noor Hisham also shared the @peoplespowerr post that was posted on Twitter.

The post shared a video clip in which the World Health Organisation Covid-19 technical lead Dr Maria Van Kerkhove had on July 7 said the Covid-19 would thrive with variants of concern that would spread with an increased social mobility and social mixing, along with inappropriate use of public health, social measures and susceptible population.

Dr Van Kerkhove said there were four major factors that drive the Covid-19 transmission.

“First, the virus itself. This is a dangerous virus, to begin with, and that we have these virus variants that have increased transmissibility.

“Second, mixing. We know that the social mixing and social mobility of people are increasing around the world. These events around the world drive transmission because you bring people together if the right interventions are not in place.

“Third, reduced and inappropriate use of public health and social measures. The use of these measures does not mean lockdown, but a combination of interventions at the individual level to the community level and it covers everything from wearing masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, and spending more outdoors than indoors.

“Fourth, the inequitable and uneven distribution of vaccines.”

She said everyone must play their part to bring the transmission down.

“The virus has a hold over us right now and we need to regain control in the virus.

“We have the upper hand here. Let’s use the tools that we have to keep transmission down and be smart.

“Play it safe and do what we can do at individual measures. Have really strong policies that are agile, that adapt to the local situation,” she said, adding that there were more than two dozen countries that have epidemic curves that are almost vertical right now. – NST ONLINE

by Nor Ain Mohamed Radhi

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